Yesterday I saw Prom Night (1980) for the very first time, also as part of the #80sHorrorWeek. I did see the 2008 remake by name only and I absolutely hated that movie. Well I’ve finally seen the original Prom Night and I must say I liked it. The movie begins interesting but the middle act is very slow and drags a lot. The story is well thought out however with developing the characters and setting up the story. Performances were all around modest to great, the standouts definitely were Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Eddie Benton, Casey Stevens and Michael Tough. Not all characters were exactly likeable or given some sort of backstory but the cast did a great job none the less. The screenplay felt fresh even though one can easily call it a rip-off from classics in the horror genre like Carrie and Halloween. The death scenes were very creative and one particular chase scene was very well executed.
The final act was truly brilliant and very fun to watch. The disco scenes were perfect yet hilarious and the soundtrack was easily one of the stronger and more memorable aspects of this 1980 slasher. The killer felt very human (read: imperfections) even though he could’ve been more menacing. The reveal of the killer was surprising and gave the movie a shocking but dramatic twist ending. For me the ending worked good as it ended like a drama and is just an extension of the high-school drama setting most of the film carries. The first hour of the movie plays more like a mystery/crime but the final act definitely gives slasher fans in particular something to chew on and then some. Paul Lynch did a great job directing this film, the detail to color is stunning and the 80’s style looks terrific. Its really flawed at parts and there needed to be more tension in the middle act but I still appreciated and enjoyed this 1980 slasher for what it was.
Some of the police scenes should’ve been left out as they lead to nowhere and only added to the running time. Also more detail to the dialogue would’ve had been pleasant. Still this 1980 slasher is MUCH better and superior in every sense of the word to the godawful 2008 remake by name only. I highly recommend Prom Night (1980) to the die-hard slasher fans, this is one slasher you have to have seen at least once in your life. The movie doesn’t come without its problems but the positive outweigh the negative. I’ve seen much better slashers though…
Today I watched Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004) for the first time. I have seen both Ginger Snaps (2000) and Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed (2004) before and both were definitely outstanding in their own ways. Great and refreshing entries in the horror genre. With a prequel that was shot back-to-back with the first sequel it was interesting to see what approach the makers of the Ginger Snaps franchise were taking.
Well I have watched the prequel and I must say that it kind of disappointed me. Sure, the movie looks good. Its well shot, the cinematography is outstanding, the locations look great and the performances by Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins were as strong as usual. The werewolves looked scary and were overall an improvement over the previous installments. Also this is quite possibly the bloodiest entry in the Ginger Snaps franchise. The soundtrack is good, but not as moody and effective as in the first two movies. The story looked interesting on paper and I held my breath with the entire ‘prequel’ idea and it completely backfired and flawed in my opinion. This ‘prequel’ works FAR better as a standalone film with the original cast members or even as a remake of the original with a different time setting, this is in NO way connected to the first two Ginger Snaps movies, or as part of the ‘Trilogy’.
It does not make sense and it rather felt like the original film in a different jacket and with less than stellar returns. This was very dumb and lazy on the part of the writers. I also thought this movie had a slow start and suffered from a lack of genuine scares. Its great that the biting humor of the first two movies was still present here, especially for the time setting. The chemistry between the sisters were strong as ever, and while I didn’t hate this movie the ‘prequel’ card it played was unnecessary and confusing to the viewer. I still recommend it, especially if you were a fan of the first two movies and/or the cast. Just watch it as a standalone film to avoid confusion.
On a special episode of Slasher Studios horror podcast, our hosts Andrew Beirl and Kevin Sommerfield will be discussing their favorite movies of 1984 as a way to wrap up the 2014 year. What horror movies stand the test of time 30 years later? Listen to our latest podcast and find out!
Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: Best Horror Movies of 1984
Today I watched Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) for the first time. Its been a couple months since I’ve last seen a Friday the 13th installment. I was hoping for ‘The Final Chapter’ to be an improvement over the mediocre Part 3. Was it?!
Rest assured I can tell that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is with no doubt an improvement over Friday the 13th Part 3. The characters weren’t necessarily less stereotype than in the previous installments, but they were for most part likeable this time around as was the complete opposite in Part 3. However, the characters weren’t given much backstory or even a smidge of development that would’ve ultimately made them more memorable. I blame the script for that as the actors tried their best with what they were given. Kimberly Beck is not an amazing actress by all means but in my opinion she pulled it off as the ‘final girl’ as opposed to Dana Kimmell in Part 3. She isn’t the bravest, smartest or toughest but she wasn’t given that much to do either. Corey Feldman did a solid job as Tommy Jarvis, very interesting character but too bad he wasn’t on screen a lot. Other notable actors like Peter Barton, Crispin Glover and Joan Freeman were fun in this sequel.
The plot gets more formulaic with every installment in the franchise but it definitely never manages to upset me. The deaths were creative and also a tad more fast paced this time around and the blood/make-up effects were fantastically done, thanks to the legendary Tom Savini. The soundtrack is effective as ever and the same goes to the direction, which is well done by Joseph Zito. The final act is definitely surprising enough and keeps the tension alive. This installment is nowhere near as good as the original, Part 2 and Part 7 for that matter but its a step up from Part 3. The 80’s style is amazing and these movies always tend to score high on the ‘fun factor’, its nice to see the focus wasn’t on Jason Voorhees the entire time. Good installment for better or worse, its a must-see for horror and slasher fans alike. Definitely NOT the final chapter.
Still full from Christmas Day leftovers and want a tasty horror dessert? On a special Christmas themed Slasher Studios Horror Podcast, our hosts Kevin Sommerfield and Andrew Beirl discussed their favorite Christmas themed horror movies. heck out an archive of all the holiday fun below!
Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: Favorite Christmas Horror Movies
I have finally watched Black Christmas (1974) for the first time. I had seen the 2006 ‘remake’ a few years ago and thought it was fun but very cheesy. It definitely didn’t take itself seriously which made it ‘so bad its good’ in my opinion. I still like that movie for the actresses and the beautiful and bright Christmas setting. I was always curious to see how the much praised 1974 original would turn out to be like. I probably own the DVD of the original for almost two years. Well I’ve finally watched it and I gotta say it is one of the, if not THE scariest horror movie I’ve ever seen.
The amount of tension through out the entire movie was crazy, I was definitely creeped out and disturbed at some parts. Such an atmospheric, startling and original horror classic. The acting performances were all around top notch with a tour-de-force performance by the beautiful and lovely Olivia Hussey who was the heart and soul of this movie. I also really liked Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Marian Waldman, Andrea Martin and Lynne Griffin in this classic. The characters were everything I was expecting AND more! So resourceful, fun and fantastic in their own ways, the character developments were superb. This movie feels like the perfect combination of drama, comedy, slasher, thriller and mystery. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and hooked from start to finish. The directing by Bob Clark was splendid and the cinematography was really outrageous. The soundtrack is very effective and does its job perfectly. The movie manages to have a lot of frightening scenes, together with emotional scenes and hilarious moments. That’s a pretty rare feat for a horror movie to pull off.
Not gonna make any comparisons to the 2006 remake because the original is far superior and the stories and setting can’t be compared with each other. The remake is fun but it works more as an homage to the 80’s slashers than as a direct remake to the original Black Christmas. This movie sent chills down my spine, even though there are some slow parts its interesting to solve this big mystery and to see the multiple ‘suspects’. Also props to the witty but well written script! The ending is perfect and leaves the audience thinking for themselves what will happen next. I highly recommend anyone to watch the original ‘Black Christmas’, I am definitely re-watching this movie every year around Christmas time! Happy holidays!
On this week’s special Slasher Studios Horror Podcast, our hosts Andrew Beirl and Kevin Sommerfield will be picking their best and worst picks for horror in 2014. Find out what movies made the killer cut at the link below and make sure to subscribe to the Slasher Studios Horror Podcast to make sure you never miss an episode.
Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: Best/Worst Horror of 2014